CRCWSC Management Biographies
Professor Tony Wong, Chief Executive Officer
Professor Tony Wong is internationally recognised for his research and practice in sustainable urban water management, particularly water sensitive urban design. His expertise has been gained through national and international consulting, research, and academia. He has led a large number of award-winning urban design projects.
He received the prestigious Sir John Holland Award as Australia’s Civil Engineer of the Year in 2010, and was cited as having defined "a new paradigm for the design of urban environments that blends creativity with technical and scientific rigour.”
Ben Furmage, Chief Operating and Finance Officer
Ben Furmage, formerly General Manager, Customer and Strategy at Melbourne Water, joined the CRCWSC on a four-month secondment in mid-January as the interim COO and in June 2017 was appointed its Chief Operating and Finance Officer (COFO).
In his past role at Melbourne Water, Ben was responsible for setting the organisation’s high level strategic direction, overseeing community engagement, and improving customer service. Ben has provided executive leadership to a range of functions across Melbourne Water including water resource and infrastructure planning, utility regulation, public affairs, sustainability, innovation, customer service, research, and development. As a member of Melbourne Water’s executive leadership team since 2008, Ben has led large scale organisational change and industry reform programs. Ben is also an active contributor to the Water Services Association of Australia and VicWater.
Prior to joining Melbourne Water, Ben worked with the National Competition Council, the Productivity Commission, and the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics. Ben has an honours degree in Economics, a Masters of Business Administration, and has recently completed the Executive Fellows Program at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Professor Jurg Keller, Chief Research Officer
Professor Jurg Keller is a Fellow of the International Water Association (IWA) and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE). He was the founding director of the University of Queensland's Advanced Water Management Centre (AWMC) and is currently its Deputy Director – Research.
Under his leadership, the AWMC has developed into an international centre of excellence in innovative water technology and management. Professor Keller has over two decades of experience in water industry research, particularly in biological wastewater treatment, environmental biotechnology, microbial fuel cells, water recycling, and resource recovery. He combines cutting-edge research and development activities with effective industry-relevant collaboration.
Professor Keller’s research projects include:
- Development of the H-DOC Biosensor for Characterisation of Activated Sludge Kinetics & Wastewater Composition;
- Development and understanding of an effective nitritation process; and
- Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (EBPR): Optimisation through Process Analysis & Operational Improvements.
Barry Ball, Research Adoption Executive
Barry Ball was a foundation Director of the CRCWSC Board and resigned in September 2014 to join the Executive team. He was previously the Deputy Director of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland. In the course of his 45-year career, Barry has worked in both state and local government, predominately in the water sector. His most recent roles in Brisbane City Council were Manager - Strategic Planning, and Manager - Water Resources Branch.
Some of Barry’s recent achievements include the establishment of the Healthy Waterways Partnership, an integrated “whole of water” strategy for the South East Queensland region, and the development and implementation of the Drought Strategy for Brisbane. Barry was a member of both the Queensland Urban Utilities Board and the Environment Professional Advisory Board at Griffith University. He has held positions on the Urban Water Advisory Committee for the National Water Commission, and Board positions on the CRCs for Catchment Hydrology and Coastal Zone. In 2010 Barry was awarded an Australian Public Service Medal for his achievements in water policy.
Dr. Briony Rogers is a Senior Lecturer with Monash University's School of Social Sciences and a Project Leader with the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC) and Monash Water Sensitive Cities. Briony is also Co-Leader of the Urban Water Cluster with the Australia-Indonesia Centre. Her research explores how visioning, strategic planning and institutional change processes can enable transitions in urban water systems to create more liveable, sustainable and resilient cities. Briony has an interdisciplinary background, with a PhD in Environmental Sociology, a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science, as well as experience as an engineering consultant on water infrastructure projects in Australia and Vietnam. Briony was selected by the International Social Science Council to be one of twenty World Social Science Fellows in the area of sustainable urbanisation. She is also co-chair of the International Working Group on Water Sensitive Urban Design.
CRCWSC Project Leaders
Marguerite Renouf, Project Leader
Marguerite Renouf BSc(Hons)/BA, PhD (Env Man) UQ is a Research Fellow at the School of Chemical Engineering's Water-Energy-Carbon Research Group (www.chemeng.uq.edu.au/water-energy-carbon). She has worked in environmental research at UQ for 15 years, with a particular interest in the environmental evaluation of production systems and urban systems using environmental life cycle assessment (LCA), urban metabolism evaluation and eco-efficiency analysis. She is interested how we can produce and consume with less drain on the environment.
Since completing a PhD in 2011, she has driven a stream of research that evaluates the environmental performance of agri-based product supply chains and products (bio-fuels, bio-materials, food, beverages) using LCA. She has collaborated with industries and researchers in Australia and overseas to develop LCA tools for industry to support the identification of more environmentally-friendly production practices and processes.
Currently, Marguerite is a lead researcher with the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities (IRP4 Water Sensitive Infill Development), responsible for developing methods and metrics for quantifying the water-sensitive performance of urban areas using urban metabolism approaches. In particular she collaborates with urban planners, water manager and architects to understand the how different urban design option influences the many functions of water in the urban landscape.
Sayed Iftekhar, Project Leader
Dr. Sayed Iftekhar is an environmental and resource economist. He was awarded a PhD from the University of Western Australia in 2012 where he studied the application of combinatorial auction designs for procuring environmental goods and services. He was awarded the best PhD thesis by the Australian Agriculture and Resource Economics Society. Currently, Dr Iftekhar is a Senior Research Fellow / ARC DECRA Fellow in the Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy (CEEP) in the UWA School of Agriculture and Environment. He has published more than 49 journal articles and 4 book chapters and has delivered/contributed to 70 conference papers or presentations. Dr Iftekhar has secured more than $2.5 million AUD in industry grants and is leading the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities’ IRP2 project and PUB Singapore’s economic evaluation of ABC Water Certificates project. His attention to excellence has been recognized through the best PhD thesis award and the best Early Career Research paper award.
CRCWSC Research Assistants
Tamara Harold, Research Assistant
Tamara (Tammie) Harold has two roles in the Centre of Environmental Economics and Policy at University of Western Australia, first to assist the Director in managing the research centre, and the other as the Research Assistant on the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities’ IRP2 project. Tammie has a background in coordinating multi-stakeholder economic projects, including large international capacity building projects funded by the World Bank, UK’s Department of International Development, and the European Commission, and more recently, Australia research projects, funded by the ARC, NESP and CRC. She has 11 years working experience in the consultancy and university sectors, of which 7 years has been in supporting Researchers. Tammie’s exceptional interpersonal, organisational, analytical and management skills has enabled her to join a range of interesting projects, including the Assessment of Engagement and Impact for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions.
Sylvia Tawfik, Research Assistant
Sylvia Tawfik is a project manager and research officer with the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, managing and providing research support for Integrated Research Project 3 – Guiding Integrated Urban and Water Planning. Sylvia has an interdisciplinary background, with a Master of Sustainability (Environment and Governance), a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Science. She’s also an experienced researcher, working on a range of water, energy and evaluation projects.
CRCWSC Key Management Personnel
Jamie Ewert, National Engagement Manager
Jamie has over 21 years’ experience in the water and environment industry having worked in roles in service delivery, regulation, policy, strategy and research. He has recently joined the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities following 16 years at Melbourne Water Corporation with a focus on waterway management and integrated water management. At the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities Jamie works as a broker between researchers and industry and delivers the CRC’s ‘Research Synthesis’ service to facilitate the translation and adoption of CRCWSC research into practice. He has worked with cities across Australia to develop practical water sensitive city projects and brings extensive facilitation, engagement and IWM strategic skills to this project.
CRCWSC Regional Managers
Dr Emma Yuen, Regional Manager - Western Australia
Dr Emma Yuen is the Regional Manager for the Western Region of the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities. Emma has worked in the water sector for over 20 years in public policy, research, planning and design. Recent projects for the WA government include development of an integrated land and water management plan for the Gnangara groundwater system, and a water use efficiency pilot involving smart water metering. As a former researcher with CSIRO and Murdoch University she has explored research questions related to how communities adapt to global environmental change as well as undertaking water demand modelling, program evaluation and participatory community development.
She is both a water scientist and a social scientist, as well as being an experienced facilitator with a passion for working with diverse and interdisciplinary groups.
Chris Tanner, Regional Manager - Queensland
Chris has over 30 years’ experience as a Consulting Engineer and was a Director of Bligh Tanner for 25 years, developing the firm into one of Queensland’s leading consulting engineering firms. He has taken a new career direction with the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities as the Queensland Regional Manager.
His focus is on integrating civil engineering solutions with the natural environment, and is recognised as a leader in sustainable development and water-sensitive design. He has regularly presented in a range of forums and published a number of papers, and is a skilled negotiator, with extensive design and policy experience, currently working with government and businesses to create the necessary changes to enable water sensitive cities.
Mellissa Bradley, Regional Manager - South Australia
Mellissa has 25 years’ experience working within the fields of civil design, development assessment, policy development, and environmental management and construction management for stormwater and wastewater reuse schemes.
Mellissa developed the Business Plan for South Australia’s water sensitive urban design (WSUD) capacity building program, Water Sensitive SA. She is implementing this plan in conjunction with her role as CRC for Water Sensitive Cities SA Regional Manager. These complementary roles focus on communicating the evidence base for water sensitive city transitions to decision makers and policy writers. Key initiatives include developing green infrastructure and WSUD performance-based planning policy, and an online stormwater assessment tool for small scale development.
Her work with government and industry supports the cultural shift and technical know-how needed to mainstream WSUD practice, to create more liveable cities and towns.
Kristy Good, Regional Manager - New South Wales
Kristy is the New South Wales Regional Manager for the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, supporting NSW participants and connecting them with CRCWSC research, tools and products. She advocates for water sensitive cities and is committed to seeing NSW cities benefit from transitioning into more liveable, sustainable and resilient cities.
Kristy has worked in the environmental planning and management field for 18 years, mostly helping local and state government implement best practice sewage and stormwater management. Since 2016, Kristy has been creating the Splash Program, a capacity building organisation that helps local and state government agencies and industry to implement water sensitive practice and embed integrated water management as core business. In this short time, Kristy has created productive and collaborative working relationships with utilities, local councils, state government agencies, research organisations and other capacity building organisations.